Excellent article on speech and natural language in banking apps:

USAA to Geico Test Voice Apps Seeking $12 Billion Savings [Bloomberg]

Some key points:

“Wells Fargo & Co., U.S. Bancorp and ING Groep NV also are among about 50 firms working with Nuance”

“The feature lessens the need for human interaction and could reduce the number of customer calls to banks by as much as 40 percent”

“the financial-services industry could save $8 billion to $12 billion a year”

“In two to three years, mobile will account for more than half of all industry customer-service interactions”

“Am I likely to talk about my finances when I am in a group of strangers?”…”I think the answer is no. It might be like, you are watching TV, and you might use it. Or, if you are walking down the street, and you want to find the nearest ATM, you might use your voice.”

“Consumers also could potentially use voice to sign up for new accounts and to make appointments, said Jim Smith, an executive vice president at Wells Fargo (WFC), which tested voice features with 3,000 employees earlier this year.”

“The convenience may boost the number of times customers interact with their banks — virtually and in person — by 10 percent to 30 percent a year, Crone said. That could eventually translate into more business: A checking-account customer may think of the bank when applying for a mortgage, for instance.”

A key point the article misses is that Nina uses the power of conversational semantic language understanding, be that speech or typed input, to give customers a way to interact with the enterprise. It isn’t only about speech – some customers don’t like talking to an app, and sometimes speech isn’t convenient. In these cases you can type into Nina instead of talking.

Fundamentally Nina provides a way for the mobile app to become a ‘remote control for the enterprise’ – customers always go to there app, the app understands what they want and guides the customer to the best way to satisfy the need. The cognitive load is taken away from the customer and placed on the app, increasing Customer Ease, and that has the biggest potential impact on loyalty and spend.


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